The aroma when you pick up a new book and the feel of pages of a freshly brewed story are the two things that are very difficult to beat for an avid reader. I just finished my third audiobook and I must say that the other two mediums (audiobook and ebook) are also handy in our fast-moving life.
I will start with the audiobook.
This is youngest medium in the reading arena but it is gaining popularity fast. For me, it is anytime, anywhere, without (extra) screen time medium of reading. It is my driving partner. I drive 60 to 75 minutes daily for work and while doing that, I listen to audiobooks instead of songs. Apart from driving, even while walking or exercising, I prefer audiobooks most of the times over music. You can say that it has replaced music in my life.
The best part is I am reading a book daily without providing any special time to reading or without increasing my screen time. So if you want to but don't have time to read the book then this is the best medium for you.
Audiobooks are great for stories whether fiction or nonfiction. But what about recipes? And graphic novels? For these you will have to choose a different medium as in an audiobook, the experience may suffer.
I have also realized that searching for the meaning of a particular word can get tedious. And if you get stuck on a phrase or a word, it can divert your mind and you may miss a part of the story.
Another thing which I hadn’t thought about was the voice of the narrator. If you don’t or can’t connect with the voice, it may hamper your experience of the story.
How to get audiobooks
To try the audiobooks avail your free trial on Amazon Audible or Storytel. The period of free trial on Audible will depend on whether you are a Prime member or not. In that trial, you will get 2 to 6 audiobooks for free. On Storytel, you will get 15 days trial period normally but if you search for offers then you might get one month's trial version. Apart from these platforms, Google also provides audiobooks and it will give you free book as a reward if you are a local guide on Google.
I have availed Audible's trial version and I am simply loving it. If you want to get the used to audiobooks then apply Amazon's theory. Amazon's theory is, they provide podcasts for free and they charge for audiobooks. Free podcasts are a great way to get used to listening to stories. So start with podcasts, and once you are used to podcasts then move on to audiobooks.
In simple words, an ebook is a digital version of a book. It gives writers an opportunity to self-publish as well. Ebook is elder to Audiobook and cover up the limitations of audiobook. Like, you can stop wherever you want. You can read any genre or any type of book on this medium. Ebook saves a lot of space in your room as well as in your bag.
I have carried heavy bags on my shoulders throughout my schooling. I wonder where were ebooks at that time. Even while traveling you can save a lot of space if you are traveling with ebooks. To carry ebooks, all you need is an app in your phone or a tablet if you feel that your phone's screen is too small to read.
I have read around 25 ebooks by now. Last one I read was 'The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*uck'.
The biggest side effect of ebook is, it increases your screen time. And if you’re a tactile person who loves the smell of new books, or feeling of visiting a library to pick up your next read, you will miss these experiences on an ebook.
The turning of pages, the use of any available piece of paper or sometimes even your phone as a bookmark, the struggle of keeping the spine clear of folds – all these and more are just the tip of all things an ebook cannot offer you.
It is great if you are reading a book without any graphics. If you are reading a travel book or a book which has lot of case studies (which includes graphs and charts), then you won't enjoy reading it as an ebook – especially on a Kindle – because of its black and white interface.
How to get ebooks
Amazon Kindle introduced the concept of ebooks to me and I love most of its features. The best feature of Kindle according to me is the dictionary. The moment you click or highlight a word, this feature gives its meaning.
I have tried reading on my phone, especially to counter the black and white interface of the Kindle. The best way out of this situation is, instead of investing in a Kindle buy a tablet which has good quality screen and read the book on that tab through the Kindle app.
Apart from Kindle, I read ebooks on Google Play Books as well.
The Cost Factor
To buy books, we go to book fairs, libraries or on the store selling second hand books to buy them at the cheaper rate.
Whereas, ebooks get cheaper as they get older. In my opinion, ebook is the cheapest medium to read a book because new or less popular authors keep their price between Rs. 49 to Rs. 99 even if you miss the giveaway. If you want to read popular ones then Amazon's Prime membership makes most of them free. Google also give you Play Books rewards if you are a contributor on their community platforms.
Audiobooks are the costliest. The cheapest bestseller in audio format I have seen is of Rs. 430. Now think, how many audiobooks you can afford?
The thing to remember though is – having and maintaining a reading habit is now easier than it ever was. You can start by reading a book in the afternoon, exchange it for an ebook in the evening when the natural light starts to fade and turn to an audiobook in the night, just before bed. Now, there is no excuse to not be reading! Just pick up a title you think you’d enjoy, find your medium and happy reading.